I was 16 in 1986, and I remember finishing COIE and then reading "The History of the DC Universe" prestige mini and thinking of the possibilities. I didn't really have a whole lot of experience with comics -- I had only been reading about eight years, so I didn't really understand the concept of a reboot, hard or soft.
I don't think it's my age that makes me leery of it...it's what I've seen companies -- particularly DC -- do with them once they're out.
See, just think back to COIE. As soon as it got a little hinky for some of the minor characters and DC realized they wanted to do a couple of things to Green Lantern, Zero Hour comes rolling along. And what happened to Hal Jordan and Hawkman, the Legion, ain't balanced by Jack Knight coming along.
You go to Infinite Crisis and OYL, and while I don't want to sound cruel, let's be honest: Hawkgirl was abysmal -- maybe the worst series I've ever picked up -- Flash wasn't much better, Wonder Woman and various other books weren't published on time, Martian Manhunter's mini was brutal, Amazons Attack might be the single-worst miniseries/crossover I've ever seen, somebody thought having a clone of Aquaman was a good idea, and so forth.
I mean, it was BAD. If anybody cares to remember, if Johns hadn't pulled off the Sinestro Corps War and started strongly with Justice Society, and Meltzer's Justice League hadn't sold really well -- man, DC was in trouble just one year after Infinite Crisis. I'm not exaggerating -- it was BAD.
That's why I'm nervous, people. These things...it's really hard to make people stick with books. Maybe a new reader won't care if a book isn't that good, or maybe they won't know better. Maybe that's what DC is counting on.
But my question is this: If you don't get the geezers to buy in to your Captain Atoms and Mister Terrifics of the 52 relaunched properties -- and let's be kind, there are readers out there who are downright terrified at the thought of paying money for a book written by some of the announced writers -- how are your sales numbers really going to look?
Something to keep in mind is that while we of the comic book message boards are very vocal in our opinions about comics, we are still a minority. Folks here wake up with the shakes at the mere thought of Tony Daniel writing their favorite characters, but that's not necessarily how the majority of comic buyers feel. Even under Daniel, Batman still outsold most other DC books by quite a wide margin. Some people, at least, seem to like him.